NEWS

E-trade between firms earns 2 bln euros

Worldwide, e-shopping from home represents only 5-8 percent of all purchases, according to Professor G. Doukidis of the Athens University of Economics and Business, yet inter-company e-trade is growing rapidly. For example, in Greece, the former sector has an annual turnover of 500,000 euros, the latter up to 2 billion euros. ONIA-Net is a pioneering Greek e-commerce company that last year won Microsoft’s European prize for innovative business. At supermarkets associated with ONIA-Net, there has been a 60 percent reduction in shortages of stock – a well-known customer deterrent – so the product supply chain functions better, the costs of the ordering process are reduced and staff time can be invested in more productive tasks. ONIA-Net’s innovative model changes the way the supply chain has operated up till now. The idea was conceived four years ago by four young people with doctorates from the University of Athens. Today the company employs 30 people and its transactions last year in Greece alone were valued at around 400 million euros. Hotel trade Yassas.com is another innovative application of e-commerce in Greece, this time in the hotel trade. With turnover expected soon to reach 175 million euros annually, the company has overcome a very important obstacle – the fact that the hotel sector in Greece comprises a plethora of small and medium-sized enterprises (85 percent are small family businesses), while suppliers are spread over a wide geographic area. Yassas.com has freed hoteliers from small suppliers in their area that sold goods at prices two to three times higher than elsewhere. At the same time, it has made suppliers more efficient by providing access to a larger number of potential customers.